OK so, every season, without fail, our skin needs a little tweaking when it comes to our skincare routine. And now that things are finally at the point where we wake up and there is frost on our car windows and we need to put an extra blanket on our bed at night, I thought I would share a list of 10 things that your skin is really needing you to take note of right now, so that it remains looking fresh, soft and beautiful all fall and winter long.
All of these tips are affordable. All of them are easy to implement. And all of these are proven to be highly effective as well. So, definitely make sure to treat your skin to them, OK? Cool (no pun intended).
With inclement winter weather comes cold temps, brisk winds, and all kinds of other stuff that can take your skin all the way through there. Something that can help to protect it is beeswax (a kind of wax that is literally created by honeybees). That's because it contains properties that can help to provide a protective layer on your skin. Plus, it acts as a humectant which means that beeswax is capable of pulling moisture out of the air so that your skin doesn't become too dry. This is especially good to know if you're someone who struggles with chapped lips during this time of the year or you have a skin condition like psoriasis. If you want to learn how to make your own face cream out of beeswax, go here. For a lip balm recipe, go here.
Until I went to college, when it came to my education, I was around white folks most of the time. And chile, if there's one thing that they literally lived to do, it was going snow skiing in their swimsuits. It might sound crazy but whenever they came to school that following Monday, they always had a really deep tan.
My biggest takeaway from that was UV rays don't stop doing their thing just because there may be a drop in temperature. This is why it's important to still wear sunscreen; especially if you know that you're going to be outdoors for more than 30 minutes or so. In fact, whether you realize it or not, the sun reflecting on the snow can actually intensify the rays. So, if you don't have a fresh bottle or tube of sunscreen in your house, now is a good of a time as any to get yourself one (check out "Here Are 10 Black Girl-Friendly Sunscreens That Will Keep You Glowing This Spring").
3. Rosemary Oil
Two of the best things that have ever happened to my skin are sulfur soap (it's a really great skin exfoliant and a way to even out your skin tone) and rosemary oil. As far as beauty goes, rosemary oil is really good for your hair because it can stimulate growth, kill fungi and bacteria that may irritate your scalp, and help to prevent hair loss. Skin-wise, it's bomb because it helps to increase blood circulation, reduce stress, hydrate your skin, balance out how much sebum your skin produces and, because of the antibacterial properties that it contains, rosemary oil can also help to fight and even prevent breakouts from occurring. Plus, it gives your skin a natural radiant glow. I'm telling you, if you're looking for an oil that will help to keep your skin looking and feeling super smooth, rosemary oil never disappoints.
4. DIY Hyaluronic Acid Serum
A couple of years ago, when I wrote the article "All-Natural Ways To Keep Your Skin Super Soft This Fall & Winter" for the platform, something that I mentioned was the importance of making your own hyaluronic acid serum. Today, I'm circling back to that because it can't be stressed enough, just how much this kind of acid can help to boost collagen production (which can help to keep your skin looking fresh and youthful) and how essential putting some type of serum on your skin is too. As far as serums go, because they are lighter than standard moisturizers, they aren't as likely to clog up your pores. Plus, they tend to be filled with concentrated ingredients that are able to penetrate your skin a lot faster. So, if you're looking for a way to reduce dullness and discoloration, especially as your face and neck are concerned, serums are awesome — whether you go the DIY route (there's a recipe for it here) or choose to pick one up from a drugstore or cosmetics counter.
5. A Jojoba and Grapeseed Oil Blend
If you're someone who wants to "spoil" your skin by either pouring some oil into your bathwater or putting some on before heading to bed, you really can't go wrong with a jojoba and grapeseed oil combo. Jojoba oil is good for your skin because it contains antibacterial properties, antioxidants and it's hypoallergenic; plus, it's the kind of oil that controls sebum production, promotes collagen synthesis, and deeply nourishes dry skin. Grapeseed oil pampers your skin because it's packed with linoleic acid and vitamin E that will deeply condition your skin and protect it from environmental damage. Also, grapeseed oil helps to fight acne, reduce inflammation and minimize fine lines and wrinkles too. So, I'm sure you can see why/how blending these two together creates an unstoppable beauty blend.
6. Cream-Based Cleansers and Cosmetics
If there's one word that you need to hold near and dear to your heart as far as skincare goes right through here, it's "cream." Creams are a thicker version of cleansers and cosmetics which can be a good thing when it comes to caring for your skin when it's colder outside. A cream-based cleanser will help to hydrate your skin. A cream-based moisturizer at night time can help to replace the moisture that your skin may have lost throughout the day. And, as far as make-up goes, a cream-based concealer or foundation (for example) can help to keep your skin looking dewy (which is always attractive) instead of dull and dry.
7. Herbal Tea Rinse
I grew up with a mother who drank quite a bit of herbal tea, so it's always something that's been a part of my health routine on some level (check out "10 'Uncommon' Teas You Should Add To Your Stash (& Why)" and "8 Teas That Are Really Good For Your Vaginal Health"). As far as your skin goes, treating it to an herbal tea rinse once a week can be great because a lot of herbs contain nutrients, amino acids, and catechins that are beneficial when it comes to slowing down the aging process. If you're new to the whole herbal tea rinse thing, some teas to start out with include white tea (it helps to rejuvenate your skin); spearmint tea (it's great at combating hormonal acne); chamomile tea (it protects skin from sun damage); rooibos (it helps to fight off free radicals) and dandelion (it's a top-tier detoxifier).
Just put a couple of tea bags into a pot of water, let the bags steep for an hour, cool, and then apply to your skin as you would a toner. You should notice results within a couple of weeks.
8. Satin Liners
Wool is a popular fabric around this time of year. It's also one that can totally dry your skin out. So, whether it's in your mittens, a sweater, or vintage wool pants, make sure there is a satin lining inside of them. That way, your skin will not dry out or become irritated. Also, make sure to thoroughly moisturize your skin before putting any wool on. Shea butter is a good move because it's rich in nutrients, contains anti-inflammatory properties and it's literally able to boost your skin's moisture levels.
9. Shorter Showers
If nothing brings you more joy than putting on some slow jams and standing in a hot shower until at least half of an album plays out, believe you me, I totally get it. Still, if you want your skin to remain soft and smooth, that is not the route for you. The reality is that hot water zaps moisture. That's why it's best to spend no more than 10 minutes in the shower and, when you do, that the temp is lukewarm at best (sorry). Also, make sure that you "seal your skin" once you get out. Basically, that consists of putting some type of carrier oil (like jojoba, sweet almond, avocado, coconut, black seed, argan, or rosehip), so that it can "lock in" the water, so that your skin remains hydrated longer.
10. A Lower Thermostat
Something else that I grew up being used to is a house that was on the cooler side, even during the fall and winter seasons. While sometimes it irked me to constantly need socks and a blanket, I get that 1) lower temperatures help to keep energy bills from getting totally out of control and 2) cold is what helps to keep germs from multiplying and getting totally out of hand. Know what else? When you keep the rooms of your house somewhere between 65-72 degrees, that keeps the dry heat from your HVAC from drying out your skin and lips; especially if you turn on a humidifier at night. All good reasons to make sure that your thermostat gets nowhere close to 80. Make sure that you do. Your skin is literally begging you to.
Featured image by Getty Images
- These Foods Will Give Your Skin & Hair The Moisture They Crave ›
- 10 Hot Drinks To Keep You Warm This Fall & Winter ›
- 7 Herbs To Get You Through The Winter Season ›
- 7 Things You Didn't Know Were Keeping Your Lips Dry - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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If you haven’t scrolled upon Olivia McDowell's TikTok famous dinner parties, you may need to reconfigure your "For You Page."
What began as a passion for hosting aesthetically themed meals for her closest friends has quickly become a viral sensation. With an astonishing 12 million viewers, women describe Olivia’s picturesque dinner parties as the “dream girls' night,” complete with classy cocktails, beautiful table settings, elegant outfits, and, most importantly, food plated to perfection.
Seemingly reigniting the feminine urge to host fancy dinner parties, Olivia has perfected the finer details. Overlooking the skyline in her beautiful NYC apartment, she never fails to make her signature handmade pasta dishes while simultaneously looking effortlessly chic in the wardrobe of dreams while doing so.
Replying to @nara0630 what should the theme of my next dinner party be? #minivlog #nycliving #dinnerpartyideas #caviarinnewyork
What I love most about hosting intimate dinners for close friends are the connections and relationships that form over food. They don't require a caviar budget with a high-rise apartment, it just takes determination and a little creativity. Watching Olivia’s journey inspires viewers to be a part of a community of positive and uplifting women who share common interests and tastes in food, fashion, and decor. Simply stated, she’s raising the bar of friendship goals.
If you’re aspiring to host a holiday-themed dinner party this season, check out the four tips that will guide you along the way.
Choose Your Theme
Replying to @emz.life.tsv what was your fav part? 🤍 hope this gives you some inspiration to host a fancy friendsgiving too! #hostingtip #dinnerparty #pastamaking
Set the ambiance with a thoughtful theme, which will indeed be your guiding light for less stress during the planning process. Establishing a theme sets the tone for everything else to fall in place, such as menus, table design, and presentation. For example, a holiday-inspired dinner party is a perfect occasion for elegant all-white decor paired with draped table cloths, pillar candles lit atop luxe holders, floating floral arrangements, and, for a personal touch, handwritten place settings.
Utilizing free resources such as Canva for menu templates and creating a “Dinner Party” moodboard via Pinterest is perfect for gathering dinner inspiration for themes, decor, and recipes for the special occasion.
Simplify the Menu
How to host your own pasta making dinner party — part 1: pasta making from scratch 🤍 Hosting dinner parties has become my favorite thing to do this year. More goes into it than you expect, the prep, planning, guestlist, tablescape, etc. but it’s always worth it in the end. What do you guys want to see next? #hostingtips #dinnerparty #pastamaking
Don’t overcomplicate the menu. A simple dinner party formula to use as your guide to making sure your guests leave full of food and joy is appetizers, salads, entrees, sides, desserts, and beverages. As a starter, assemble an aesthetic spread that your guest can nibble on while awaiting the main course with starters such as bread, cheese, jam, nuts, and fruit. A simple salad will do, complete with a light dressing right before your entree. For a main dish, pasta recipes always go a long way and also allows your guests to interact with one another, which leads to McDowell's third dinner party hosting tip.
Include an Interactive Element
Replying to @itstai.tv 🖤 #girlhood
To break the ice and encourage guests to get to know one another, introduce interactive elements to the evening. Moments of interaction allow everyone to connect, like capturing content for social media or memorializing the essence of the night through fun Polaroids. Olivia also encourages her guests to participate in the pasta-making dinner process as a group, or if hosting a brunch, her friends indulge in building their own coffee bar as an opportunity for forming connections and conversation starters. Group board or card games are also great for laughs and healthy competition to help get the vibes flowing.
Don’t Forget the Dress code
Replying to @samantha_mendiz when all of your friends are the main character 🖤🥂 #dinnerparty #nycfashion
Tis’ the season for glamour and sparkles, so why not go all out with a super chic dress code? You can’t have a picture-perfect holiday dinner party without the coordinating attire to match. When planning, make sure to make the required attire specific yet broad enough for a range of personalities and preferences to comfortably partake while looking stunning doing so.
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Featured image by Justin Lambert/Getty Images